Industrial tax breaks bylaw in place

A bylaw to provide tax exemptions based on industries making improvements to their property and holdings has been adopted.

The bylaw sets in place a descending scale of tax breaks over five years based on the value of improvements that are made.

In doing so, the District of Houston hopes the bylaw will encourage industries to make improvements designed to boost the local economy.

Council has already passed a bylaw doing much the same for commercial establishments within the downtown area and is working on a bylaw for homeowners and others who own residential properties.

With the bylaw for industries now in place, the District will begin promoting its advantages.

Prohibitions

A person must not cut down a protected tree without first obtaining a permit from the District, except as provided for under this Bylaw.

A person must not cut down a tree growing within 15- metres of the natural boundary of a watercourse, except where a tree or the roots of a tree are blocking a watercourse or reducing its drainage capacity or in a consultative process with the Government of Canada or the Province.

A person must not remove any stumps or roots of any tree from a steep slope area, without

first obtaining a permit from the District.

The local army cadet group has asked the District for permission to continue to use Daisy air rifles as part of its indoor training program.

This follows a request from Captain Melissa Winsor of the local group — 3020 Royal Canadian Army Cadets — saying that the District of Houston’s new firearms bylaw, prohibits the use of firearms within municipal boundaries.

“There has been no property damage at any facility we have used, and our cadets are fully supervised from the time the rifles leave lock up until they are returned,” she said.

“The marksmanship program teaches firearm safety, respect fo the dangers of firearms and is a great discipline helping youth develop patience and a sense of measurable achievement.”

Winsor said there was a sense of urgency in gaining approval so that when cadet corps instructors visit in August, they can offer shooting as a part of the cadet summer training.

Council has asked its staffers to find a way to accommodate the request and that’s to prepare amendments to the firearms bylaw applicable to cadets and others.